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Maydianne Andrade is a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus and the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto. With a BSc from Simon Fraser University, an MSc from the University of Toronto Mississauga and a PhD in Neurobiology & Behavior from Cornell University, Andrade’s research uses cannibalistic black widow spiders as models for understanding how selection shapes mating behaviours, life history traits, and how these processes can lead to species diversification and invasiveness.


She is a Fellow of the Animal Behaviour Society and the recipient of numerous research awards including a University Faculty Award from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada, Premier’s Research Excellence Award from the Government of Ontario, New Opportunities and Leaders Innovation Fund Awards from the Canadian Foundation from Innovation, an African Canadian Achievement Award for Excellence in Science and she was named a Canada Research Chair in Integrative Behavioural Ecology (2007 - 2018).


Andrade teaches Evolutionary Biology and Animal Behaviour at UTSC where she has been named a Professor of the Year by the undergraduate newspaper and was a finalist in Television Ontario’s Best Lecturer competition (2006/2007).

Since 2012, Andrade has also been engaged in speaking about how implicit/unconscious bias can affect the assessment of women, people of colour, and other under-represented groups in academia and leadership roles. She is a founding member and the inaugural Co-Chair of TIDE (the Toronto Initiative for Diversity and Excellence,, a group of faculty from across the University of Toronto who are trained to educate their colleagues about the effects of implicit biases on decision-making. She was awarded the Ludwik and Estelle Jus Memorial Human Rights Prize  by the Alumni Association of the University of Toronto for her work in this area in 2019. Her focus on methods of counter-acting effects of implicit bias has become part of her work as Vice Dean of Faculty Affairs & Equity for UTSC, a position she has held since January 2017. From July through December 2019, she has stepped out of the Vice Dean role to serve as Acting Vice Principal and Dean of UTSC. 


Andrade is adept at translating her research for a broader audience, with her work on black widows frequently featured in the popular press, or as the subject of her lab’s science outreach activities. Past work includes a feature on her work on NOVA ScienceNow numerous interviews over the years on CBC radio’s ‘Quirks and Quarks’, and her serving as the ‘spider expert’ in ‘The Great Wild Indoors’, an earlier episode of The Nature of Things.

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